Jump to content

Aichi D3A1 "Val" 1:72 Airfix "Vintage Classics" A02014V


Julien
 Share

Recommended Posts

Aichi D3A1 "Val"

1:72 Airfix "Vintage Classics" A02014V

 

spacer.png

 

The Val was designed in the 1930s by Aichi to replace the D1A1 biplane for the Japanese Navy.  Following acceptance into the Navy the aircraft undertook its first combat missions in China in 1940. Later 126 would take part in the attack on Pearl Harbour where it proved highly accurate in it dive bombing role. In this attack many of the aircraft were sent to target the several American airfields on the Island of Oahu, using precision strikes to ensure as many US aircraft were destroyed before they could take to the air, thus minimising potential losses to the aircraft assigned to main attack. Although the aircraft went on to other success after this it went on to suffer heavy losses as allied Anti Aircraft fire improved , and superior fight cover was made available. 

 

The Kit

this is Airfix's own tool dating back to 1965 which has enjoyed many re-releases over the years. As its an old tool you get the two fuselage halves, two wings, two smaller sprues of parts and a clear sprue. Moulding is typical of the time period and the tool seems to have held up. On starting the build there is no real cockpit to speak of. The two standard Airfix pilots fit into seats and these fit directly into the fuselage, At the rear an arrestor hook is fitted then the fuselage can be closed up. The wings are made up and the wheels with their spats are added. To the fuselage ar now added the wings, the tail planes; and at the front the engine and propeller. Two small exhaust stubs are added to the engine, and then under the fuselage a centreline bomb and its swing cradle. To finish the canopies are added, as are the dive brakes to the wings, and at the rear the small tail wheel. 

 

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

Markings

A small decal sheet from Cartograf provides markings for only one aircraft based on the carrier Akagi during the attack on Pearl Harbour 1941.  

 

spacer.png

 

 

Conclusion

Airfix seem to be releasing their back catalog now as "Vintage Classics", this gives some indication you are getting an told tool kit not a new one. Recommended if you want a bit of nostalgia modelling. 

 

 

bin.jpg

 

Review sample courtesy of 

logo.gif

 

 

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is the point of this release? Are there really that many people out there that want to fork over 11 quid for a nostalgia hit on a Val?

Airfix have plenty of kits in their back catalog that are still worth building but this isn't one of them.

Edited by sroubos
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, sroubos said:

What is the point of this release? Are there really that many people out there that want to fork over 11 quid for a nostalgia hit on a Val?

Airfix have plenty of kits in there back catalog that are still worth building but this isn't one of them.

Well Airfix must think so or they would not goto the expense of doing it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It always make me wonder how many people, who do not know as much about new releases as people on a forum like this do, end up getting a kit that is totally dated. It gives a wrong representation of what this hobby is about in this day and age and may make people, and specifically folks new to the hobby, give up on it.

 

At least Airfix have the decency to label them clearly. Plenty of other manufacturers that sell these old kits with 'NEW RELEASE' on the box top.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At £11 this is no longer a pocket money kit but it could still form the basis for a parent-and-child (other familial groupings are available) shared build programme, helping to guide youngsters into the hobby without the perceived complexities of, for example, one of Airfix's own splendid new Wellingtons with their wonderfully detailed but all-but-invisible interiors.  Yes it's basic and there's some parts clean-up to do bot it can be made to look the part and take its place on junior's display shelf or bedroom ceiling as a precursor to the next, hopefully better, attempt.  I'm sorely tempted to get one as (a) I've never builtv9ne before, (b) it'll make an interesting comparison with my Airfix B5Ns and (c) as soon as it's finished Airfix will probably announce a brand new tooling of it!

Edited by stever219
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never built this kit either, it seemed to be a rarity in the shops back in the 70s when I was working my way through the Airfix Series 1 and 2 range. I bought one when it was last released, in 2011 but after I'd seen what was in the box and had come across a Fujimi D3A I threw the Airfix one in the bin. There are plenty of perfectly decent kits in the Airfix back catalogue but there are others that are now only worth the effort of making them into a passable replica if you desperately want a model of that particular subject and if there's absolutely no alternative available. Whether the price is reasonable is a matter of personal opinion but a couple of weeks ago I paid £11 in my local model shop for an Academy P-47 which is streets ahead of the Val. 

 

Agreed, at least Airfix are now clearly labelling this category of kit as a "classic". Revell, for example, are currently selling their 1963 travesty purporting to be a P-51D and the 50-year old ex-Frog Ta 152 with nothing on the box to warn the less knowledgeable purchaser what they're getting.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember building this in the 70's when I was a kid.  One of the first I painted.  Because of the simple grey and black scheme it went well.  I was chuffed and I thought it was a great model, so I bought the Matchbox Zero and another great model and simple scheme.

Edited by Jeepboy
Spelling
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, stever219 said:

At £11 this is no longer a pocket money kit but it could still form the basis for a parent-and-child (other familial groupings are available) shared build programme, helping to guide youngsters into the hobby without the perceived complexities of, for example, one of Airfix's own splendid new Wellingtons with their wonderfully detailed but all-but-invisible interiors.  Yes it's basic and there's some parts clean-up to do bot it can be made to look the part and take its place on junior's display shelf or bedroom ceiling as a precursor to the next, hopefully better, attempt.  I'm sorely tempted to get one as (a) I've never builtv9ne before, (b) it'll make an interesting comparison with my Airfix B5Ns and (c) as soon as it's finished Airfix will probably announce a brand new tooling of it!

 

If you want to guide youngsters into the hobby, any of Airfix recent Series 1 toolings are cheaper and much more enjoyable to build. For the 11 quid this old Val cost I got my son the Spitfire MkV gift set over Christmas which is essentially a slightly simplified Series 1 kit and comes with paint, a hairy stick, glue and a stand. One of these is value for money, the other is... well isn't, let's put it that way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, AWFK10 said:

There are plenty of perfectly decent kits in the Airfix back catalogue but there are others that are now only worth the effort of making them into a passable replica if you desperately want a model of that particular subject and if there's absolutely no alternative available.

 

Exactly.  The canopy on this kit is awful and always was (sink marks, sliding portions too thick to look at all convincing).  I built one when I was about 14 (so nearly 50 years ago) and felt I'd been ripped off then.  Even within the subset of the "Classic" releases there is a considerable range of quality, from perfectly acceptable kits that are a pleasure to make and whose return will/would be welcomed even by the critical (eg P-80, Seasprite) to kits that really really ought not to see the light of day again except in plain packaging with prominent markings: "Serious health warning: this fossil could put you off modelling for life".  But Airfix will sell enough to the unwary to make it worth their while financially.  Reputational damage don't enter into it, apparently.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a number of (predictably)  negative comments here.  The question of whether or not this kit is worthy of release is very subjective so, other than saying that Airfix wouldn't release it they didn't think it was worth it,  I'll just leave that particular matter there.

I do however think that suggestions that any model kit will (a) put people off modelling for life and, (b) that Airfix will suffer reputation damage are just plain silly and, ridiculously over exaggerated.

I do accept that comments along the lines of (a) are possibly made with tongue in cheek but,  if anybody is put off by just one kki (from any manufacturer )  then perhaps they have an extremely narrow perspective and, perhaps also, modelling is not the hobby for them?

As for "reputation damage"? Well, I think Airfix has a pretty solid reputation as kit manufacturers go and, I find it quite laughable that they would be damaged now in any way by a 55 year old kit that, even in their own range has been greatly surpassed.

Nobody is forced to buy ANY of these old kits. I have one of the last boxing which, provided a very attractive colour option in addition to the grey scheme. I sanded off the canopy frames and, polished up the parts, scratch built an interior and , replaced the main wheels (half wheels really! 😊) with better detailed items.

For a modicum of effort, it polished up nicely! That, to me anyway is what modelling is about but, that's just me. I may or, may not buy this one but, if I do, it'll get the same TLC the other one did!

 

John

Edited by Beermonster1958
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the negativity is overdone. The box is clearly marked "Vintage Classic" so buyers should realise it's an old product.

 

I'll now put the case for the releasing it:

 

There are very few kits in 1:72 of the D4A1, or Vals in general, so having one readily available makes it attractive.  The Fujimi kits have their own fit problems, are very hard to find and not cheap. I've no idea what the ZTS Plastyk one is like, but I suspect it's not good.

 

The kit is relatively simple making it a good starter or quick-build subject.

 

The shape isn't perfect, but it's not rubbish either.

 

Good decals.

 

Edited by 3DStewart
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the other point to make, is that they are releasing to a certain segment of the market as a hit of nostalgia for those of a certain age bracket that are looking back at a time of their lives with rose tinted specs, and not necessarily as a starter kit. The fact that they are labelling them as "Vintage Classics" hints at that market, along with the vintage packaging.

 

Airfix/Hornby will have done their marketing research long before any of these kits saw the light of day, and will know exactly who their target audience is. They are not daft - and will not be throwing money away on a whimsical marketing idea!

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...